Novi Beograd and Ferencvaros recorded wins in the 10th round of the Champions League Group B. However, the other two favorites didn’t meet expectations and the battle for 4th place in this group is still wide open.
Ferencvaros defeated Spandau 12:8 and mathematically secured the Final Eight berth. Fradi became the third qualified team from this group (after host Novi Beograd and Brescia).
Novi Beograd’s defense was superb in the match against Marseille. The Serbian champion conceded only four goals. It celebrated an 11:4 win.
Novi Beograd caught up with Brescia in points. But, the Serbs climbed atop the group, because they beat Brescia in the first half of the preliminary stage. These two teams will face off in the next round in Brescia and that match will probably decide which team will finish 1st.
Brescia and Jug weren’t as heavy favorites in today’s matches as Novi Beograd and Ferencvaros were. However, it was expected that the Italians and the Croats could earn three points each. In the first 24 minute, both teams were on their way to victories.
The encounter between OSC Budapest and Brescia ended in a 14:14 draw. Brescia led throughout the match and had a 4-goal advantage before the final eight minutes. But, OSC managed to earn a point.
Sabadell beat Jug 15:12. The fourth quarter of this encounter was similar to the final period of the match OSC – Brescia. The match was a balanced battle. However, Jug was on the right track in the middle two quarters. Before the final period, it led 10:9. But, Sabadell made a great 4:0 series in less than three minutes in the fourth period, earned a 13:10 lead and maintained the difference until the end
Jug is still in fourth place, with 14 points, but the teams ranked 5th – 8th still have hopes they can qualify for F8. Spandau has 8, OSC, Marseille and Sabadell 7 points each.
OSC Budapest – Brescia 14:14 (1:3, 4:5, 4:5, 5:1)
OSC Budapest: Levai, Angyal 3, Manhercz 3, Varnai, Salamon 1, Csacsovszky, Dala, Toth, Vin. Vigvari 3, Burian 4, Bundschuh, Aranyi, Bisztrisanyi. Head coach: Da.Varga.
Brescia: Tesanovic, Dolce 2, C.Presciutti, Gianazza, Lazic 1, Vapenski 1, Renzuto, Kharkov 2, Alesiani 1, Luongo 4, Di Somma 3, Gitto, Baggi Necchi. Head coach: Bovo.
Brescia was a far better rival than OSC Budapest in the first three periods. After 24 minutes of play, it seemed that the Italians would record a routine victory. Still, OSC managed to earn the point.
The Italians dictated the pace throughout the first three quarters. Lungo opened the scoring by converting a man-up in the third minute. Immediately after, Angyal leveled, also with an extra player. That was the last time that the teams were tied. Brescia produced a 3:0 run and earned a 4:1 lead early in the second quarter. In the 12th minute, Vapenski stretched the margin to four (6:2) from a counter-attack in which the Italians had a man-up. OSC tried to come back, and it halved the deficit twice (4:6, 5:7). Still, Brescia had a 3-goal lead at the middle break (8:5). Luongo, who scored the first goal in the match, opened the second half too. He made it 9:5 in Brescia’s first possession in the third period. OSC was coming back from time to time. However, four goals separated the rivals before the final quarter. Brescia led 13:9, and nobody saw what was coming.
OSC didn’t give in, and it paid off. The hosts’ return in the game started in the 25th minute, after Vigvari converted a penalty to 10:13. Manhercz made it 11:13. Vigvari added another goal (this time from 6 on 6) for 12:13. Three and a half minutes before the end, Burian leveled from a distance – 13:13. The Italians became nervous and couldn’t re-find their good rhythm, In the following two minutes, both teams missed a few nice chances, including a few man-ups. But, Brescia came very close to a win after Di Somma scored a power-play goal in the 31st minute. However, OSC had the last laugh. Burian scored with an extra player with 44 seconds to go for 14:14, which turned to be the final score
Novi Beograd – Marseille 11:4 (3:1, 1:1, 4:1, 3:1)
Novi Beograd: Filipovic, S.Rasovic 1, Mandic 1, Granados 2, Vucinic, Pijetlovic, Drasovic 3, Jaksic 1, Cetkovic 1, Vlachopoulos 1, Skoumpakis 1, Martinovic, Coimbra. Head coach: Gocic.
Marseille: Lazovic, Olivion, Crousillat, Spaic 1, Prlainovic, Vernoux 2, Vanpeperstraete, Bouet, Marion Vernoux, Bodegas, Vukicevic 1, Daube, Hovhannysian. Head coach: Scepanovic.
Novi Beograd’s water polo players didn’t let Marseille surprise them. Still the hosts started breaking the French’s resistance only in the middle of the third period. The visitors proved that they weren’t underdogs and that the standings didn’t mirror their real quality.
Novi Beograd didn’t shine in the attack in the first half, but the defense was up to the task, so the home side had a 3>1 lead at the first break. Thomas Vernoux scored the only goal for the visiting team in the first eight minutes, proving he is one of the best center-forwards in the world. He handled excellently in a difficult position and netted for 1:2 in the 6th minute.
The second quarter was a balanced battle. Neither of the sides had good solutions in the attack, the defenses worked well, but there were a lot of mistakes in the attacks at both ends of the pool. Vladan Spaic broke the deadlock with a man-up in the 14th minute, but Vlachopoulos responded 30 seconds after, in the same manner, with a power-play goal for 4:2.
Marseille came very close again in the 19th minute after a nice goal for 3:4. That was the last wake-up alarm for Novi Beograd. Midway through this period, the Serbian team started taking control. The defense, with a very good goalkeeper Joao Pedro Coimbra, was better and better. The Serbs scored four unanswered goals by the end of the third quarter.Five seconds before the buzzer, Drasovic sent the ball home from a penalty shot and the hosts had a comfortable 8:3 advantage before the final quarter.
There were no goals for long in the fourth period. Two and a half minutes before the end, Savo Cetkovic made it 9:3. Shortly after, Thomas Vernoux ended Marseille’s goalles phase that lasted 11 minutes, but after that, the hosts added two goals for an 11:4 win.
“In my opinion, this was Novi Beograd’s best game since I arrived at the club two years ago. We let a very good team of Marseille score only four goals which is a great success. We didn’t have ups and downs in the match. We all played very disciplined in defense. In the second half, the attack started working well, and we recorded a convincing win”, Novi Beograd’s experienced center-forward Dusko Pijetlovic said.
Milos Scepanovic, Marseille’s coach:
“We kept up with Novi Beograd for more than two quarters, we played well in defense, but we didn’t have enough self-confidence in the attack. That lack of self-confidence resulted that we couldn’t follow Novi Beograd in the second half. In the end, we lacked freshness, as the other teams, because many of our players were with the national teams in the World Cup last week.
Ferencvaros – Spandau 04 12:8 (2:1, 3:1, 3:3, 4:3)
Ferencvaros: Szakonyi , Molnar, Pohl 2, Merkulov 2, Argyropoulos 4, Vadovics, Nagy, Ven. Vigvari 3, Nemet, D. Varga 1, Jansik, Damonte, Vogel. Head coach: Zs. Varga.
Spandau 04:Baksa, Gbadamassi 1, Prioteasa 1, Cuk 1, Tkac, Bozic, Strelezkij 1, Marziali, Chiru, Kholod 1 restovic, Shepelev 3, Vernet Schweimer. Head caoach: Kechagias.
Ferencvaros took revenge for a 10:11 defeat to Spandau in Berlin.
Spandau was a tough opponent to the Hungarian champion, but it couldn’t cause another surprise.
Ferencvaros dominated in the first half. The Hungarians’ defense managed to stop the Berliners’ best scorer Dmitri Kholod, while the attack did its job quite well. In the middle of the period, the hosts had a 4-goal lead after Vigvari netted for 5:1.
But, Spandau didn’t bring a white flag and it could battle with the best European teams. The Germans started coming back. In the 21st minute, they came very close (5:6), but not for long. Vigvari doubled Ferencvaros’ lead immediately (8:5). Ferencvaros controlled the match and held back Spandau’s comeback attempts. Two minutes and 23 seconds before the end, Denes Varga scored one of his magical goals from the surface of the water, and the contest was over.
Sabadell – Jug 15:12 (4:4, 2:3, 3:3, 6:2)
Sabadell: Lorrio, Sanahuja 3, Gil, Teclas, Veich, Valera 5, Bertran 2, Cabanas 1, Averka 2, Banicevic 1, Bonet 1, Bustos, Teclas. Head coach: Colet.
Jug AO: Popadic, Burdjelez, Fatovic 3, Zvono, Jokovic 2, Vukojevic, Biljaka, Lazic 1, Mozara 1, Kakaris 4, Grgurevic, Zuvela 1, Jurisic. Head coach: Kobescak.
Sabadell stunned Jug with an explosive start. In the fourth minute, the hosts already had a 3:0 lead. However, Jug recovered quickly. The Croats leveled at 3:3, scoring three goals in 02:06 minutes. Six seconds before the first break, Valera gave the hosts a new lead by converting a double man-up. But, Jug had the last word in the first quarter. Loren Fatovic found the net from seven meters in the last second for 4:4.
Averka made it 5:4 at the beginning of the quarter. Still, this quarter belonged to the visitors. In the 15th minute, Loren Fatovic put Jug in front from a penalty shot (6:5). After that, the teams exchanged goals and Jug entered the third quarter leading 7:6.
The teams continued trading goals in the third quarter. Sabadell leveled three times, but Jug regained a slim lead each occasion. Before the final period, the Croats had a 10:9 advantage. Many believed that the Dubrovnik-based side was on the right track.
However, Sabadell produced a big and quick comeback. The hosts made a 4:0 series between the 27th and 30th minute. They were firing from all positions. Sabadell earned a 13:10 lead with 02:47 minutes left on the clock. Jug reduced the gap to two goals twice, but nothing more. Sabadell kept a 3-goal lead and revived its hopes of reaching the F8.
1. Novi Beograd 10 games – 25 points
2.Brescia 10 – 25
3. Ferencvaros 10 – 21
4. Jug 10 – 14
5. Spandau 10 – 8
6. Marseille 10 – 7
7. OSC Budapest 10 – 7
8. Sabadell 10 – 7
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